Buick reveals Avista concept performance coupe – Detroit Free Press
Buick tonight revealed the Avista concept – a 2+2 coupe that pushes the brand’s contemporary design trend and attempts to build from Buick’s performance roots.
This car represents a contemporary grand touring car, with a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 driving the rear wheels.
“The Avista embodies the dynamic soul of Buick,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick Sales, Service and Marketing. “It is a modern expression of the brand’s heritage of sophisticated performance, communicated with beautiful elegance.”
Like most concepts, Avista’s purpose is to draw attention to Buick and provide certain design cues that may show up in production models over the next two to three years. For example, last year Buick showed a concept sedan, the Avenir, and certain elements of that car were adopted in the design of the 2017 LaCrosse that goes on sale this summer.
“We’re exploring,” said Dan Ammann, GM president, referring to Avista. “It’s a pretty interesting statement of where the Buick brand is today.”
Additional exterior features include:
The interior of the Avista featured 3D-printed door and seat trim, as well as a future vision of Buick’s IntelliLink touchscreen.
Buick also unveiled the Envision midsize crossover tonight, a vehicle that it will produce at a joint venture plant in China. Last year, Buick sold more than 140,000 Envisions in China.
Americans continue to shift from traditional passenger cars to crossovers and SUVs. Higher-driving positions and more voluminous storage space are fueling much of the migration.
Sales of what Autodata calls sport wagons and crossovers grew 18.5% in 2015 to 4.5 million, while sales of midsize cars fell 2% to 3.5 million.
Buick’s Encore, which is smaller than Envision, and the Enclave, which is larger, accounted for 58% of the brand’s U.S. sales in 2015. But it’s the segment between those two models that is growing fast and Envision will compete with such crossovers as the Lincoln MKC, Acura RDX and Audi Q5.
“Buick needed to quickly fill a hole in their product lineup, and importing the Envision is the quickest way to do it,” said Erik Gordon, clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Buick’s U.S. sales fell 2.6% last year, but it will have three new models coming to market in 2016. The first will be the Cascada, a smart convertible imported from Poland that will reach showrooms as early as February. That will be followed by the Envision and a redesigned LaCrosse sedan this summer.
Contact Greg Gardner: 313-222-8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Greg Gardner12.